Someone recently asked me to defend my dislike of black clubs and parties. They basically said, that’s funny, seeing as how I’m so ‘pro-black’. Uh huh.
Fair enough. Now keep in mind, I’m not big on clubbing to begin with. You’re reading the words of level 3 introvert here. I can go out or stay in, but 7/10 times I’m leaning towards staying in (or just doing something else entirely, with people I actually know and like). When I do get in the mood to go out, however, I don’t want to feel like I’m forcing it. So below are just a few reasons that, despite my numerous attempts to assimilate, I can’t stand partying with ‘my people’.
- Don’t usually care for the music. Growing up in New York, most parties you went to were a Carribean free-for-all. Reggae, Soca, dancehall…whatever. All sorts of music I just really wasn’t into. Perhaps times have changed as other music has become more popular (I’ve certainly developed a greater appreciation for Soca since then), but I remember going to those parties and just finding the whole thing bizarre. I mostly remember being very bored with being grabbed indiscriminately and talked at in accents I didn’t always understand. Not to mention, I can’t wine. So I really can’t identify with most people there. If it’s not Carribean, then its ratchet tunes all night. I have a few problems with that brand of music on an intellectual level, but when it comes to parties the fact is often I don’t know the songs and/or find them kinda dumb. Which usually precludes me form dancing to them. Sometimes I like ‘em, other times I don’t.
- I get tired of being pressured to drink high-proof, shitty alcohol all night. For whatever reason, other races of people don’t often pressure me when it comes to drinking. I’m not going to say this is out of good-natured-ness on their part so much as not feeling comfortable with peer pressuring a black girl. Who knows how I’ll react, right? Regardless, not only do ‘my people’ love to side-eye you for not throwing caution to the wind with alcohol, they love high proof trash. The stuff of medicine cabinets and World War II infirmaries. Nooo thankyou.
- Bratty black men trying to pressure me into giving them lap dances. “Why’d you come if you ain’t gonna dance!?” The nerve of me, leaving my house and coming to this shindig, only to refuse a ‘dance’ with you. Shame on me! Yea, I get tired of that shit. If I wanna dance, I want to DANCE. Not grind on you all night while you keep some sort of odd vice grip on my waist or wrists. I didn’t agree to some sort of indentured dancing servitude to you, nigga, I came to bond with my friends and if possible, enjoy the music and the vibe. The minute you start enjoying a song and getting into it, here comes some dude latching onto you like a dry-humping barnacle for the remainder of the music. Don’t get me wrong…I know many people who live for that interaction. Me, not so much…I actually loathe it. My best friend was an avid party-goer up until very recently. She said the most bizarre, yet relatable thing to me when I asked her about why she prefers to go to strip clubs now: She prefers strips clubs because the men are too busy harassing the strippers to harass you. Men often take issue with this statement for many reasons, particularly because they consider it arrogant. But to that I reply: when was the last time you were a woman in a black club? Like men grab me and I just have to rub my ass all over them? Weird. Can I go home now and finish The Life of Pi? I’ve paid my social dues for the night, me thinks.
- I don’t really like to dance…how ‘we’ like to dance. I’m sorry, grinding with strangers just isn’t my idea of a good time. Sue me. The level of physical contact in other club settings I’ve dealt with is on a completely different level than the average black gathering. Like, yes, you can touch me and dance with me…but do you have to hump me?
- Black people love to stunt. Black people can be some of the snobbiest people I know, ironically enough. Even now, I’m still taken a back at how limited some people’s idea of fun can be. I have friends who consider the whole night a wash if they don’t get drunk enough or if ‘pregaming’ isn’t ‘lit’ enough. Uh huh. That being said, black clubbing and partying usually seems more about the presentation than anything else. What I’ve learned about partying as a black girl: If you left your house in relative comfort, you’re doing it wrong. Dress up, stand around, maybe shake your ass (if possible… are you accomplished at twerking on stilts?), get groped and/or hit on all night…this is a successful night out for some. Otherwise, it was ‘wack’. Hm, pass on that. I remember feeling virtually alone in this idea until talking with a Southern friend of mine in college. She loves to socialize and hit the club, but even she noticed this about going out to black clubs and parties. Dance only if you know how to dance, dress like you’re about to hit the catwalk…all very pretentious and exhausting.
- I feel as though I can’t identify with most people there. All of these points come down to this central theme. Probably my biggest problem is that I tend to view the experience through the lens of a lot of our social issues. I feel critical and out of place at these events, like I’m watching a documentary on something peculiar. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gone to predominantly white parties and taken note of some of their more ridiculous habits. Every race has something. But I’ve noticed for me, I usually enjoy an outing if the crowd is mixed and so is the music.
Who knows, maybe I’ll revise my opinion on this at a later date. If so, I’ll definitely add an edit to this post and write a separate one on what made me see the light. For now, this is my opinion and experience.